Sunday, August 23, 2009

Thanks For Going For Me!

I have had a very informational weekend watching people on Twitter, Facebook, and my rss reader. I doubt I could have seen as much if I had actually been at Blizzcon myself. I'm still a little bit jealous, but that will pass. I'll just have to bone up on my ticket ordering skills for next year.

While all of you have been having fun at Blizzcon, I was having real life fun. My sister in law and her husband are away at the river enjoying some much needed adult only time. Their babysitter came down with a bad case of pregnancy (thankfully, it was in its end stages), so they needed us to watch their boys. Our house is bursting at the seams now, with 9 kids and two adults, a cat and her 6 kittens, and any of at least 6 neighbor kids that drop by to play.

So, yes, full house, full of happy giggling and some bickering, a little drama (I have mostly girls), dirty faces and scraped knees. We went to the park yesterday with grandpa and played in the playground, had a baseball game, and performed death defying stunts on caterpillar climbers (3 and 5 year olds make you swallow your heart when they climb!). Then we ate pizza and drank Dr. Pepper (sorry Noah), and threw the frisbee around. Oh, and all that happened after we took the second oldest to the hospital for a broken toe. She missed out on the park, but she was happy enough, plugged into her laptop, Cookie Crisp and cold water nearby, foot propped on the couch arm. We brought her pizza. I think she had as much fun as we did.

Today, I'm catching up with blog posts and twitters I missed yesterday. What a wealth of new things to dream on! Well, at least look forward to. Thanks to all the people that went that shared their experiences or will be sharing them soon. I look forward to enjoying the con through your eyes and ears!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Cast Sequence Is A Lie!

I think I mentioned it before, but I'm going to mention it again, mostly for my own benefit. There really is no cast sequence for a shadow priest. Sure there is the start up phase where you throw up all the dots you have and then hit mind blast and mind flay, then refresh the dots so they gain the benefit of your shadow weaving buff. But, after that, it is really just making sure your dots are up, and that you use your nukes when they are off cool down, filling in with mind flay where needed.

Why do I mention this again? Because I have been having a horrible time with my dps lately. Halinka, with almost 1600 extra spell power, was doing 12-13k dps, with buffs. Why was she failing so miserably? Well, part of it might have been spec, which was very mana conservative. If you click her link now you will see her updated spec, which is pretty fabulous, in my opinion. The other thing hampering her dps was a silly idea that she could find a macro to make her spell rotation easier. Phooey. Anyone that says they have a magic macro that can solve all your dps problems will only be helping if your previous attempts at shadow dps were the equivalent of wanding things to death. I should smack myself for even trying it.

Spec squared away, and gear all set right, buttons reordered and nasty macros tossed aside, I screenshot the results after leaving the dummies in Ironforge (not the players, the practice dummies!).
1761. That's unbuffed, folks. I think I will now go back to Delgada and fix her, and play with the dummies in Silvermoon.

Not the blood elf guys. The Training Dummies. Geez. I'm sure none of them want to date my avatar. Besides, it's a known fact that they are happiest when preening in front of a mirror. I'll try not to get in their way.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Me, In NPC Form.

One of the blogs I follow, Letters from Birdfall, suggested I think about what I would like to be, immortalized as a non player character. I have a few options, being an altaholic, but I could only think of one.

Shawndra would be found fishing in Wintergrasp, because that's where the good fishing is! There would be a campfire with a spit turning over it, a basket like the Tuskarr supplies are kept in next to her feet. She would be lounging on a fishing chair, fishing hat tipped low over her eyes, pole eternally cast in the icy blue water. She would be irritated for being bothered, but offer a quest to run and fetch 2 fishing lures for her. The fish are not biting, so they would need to bring the best fishing lures available, aquadynamic fish attractors. As a reward, they would receive a fish dish, cooked to their tastes. The choices would be Dalaran Clam Chowder(7), Spicy Blue Nettlefish(5), Poached Northern Sculpin(5), or Firecracker Salmon(5). Flavor text should they come back before completing the quest? "Shawndra puts down her pole and fingers a dagger with an old, blood stained handle. It looks pretty sharp. You decide to hurry off and get what she asked for." When quest window is closed, you hear her laugh quietly as you leave.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bloodthistle Addiction


Yeah, I use the stuff, but what blood elf magic user doesn't. I keep a leaf or three in my pouch all the time. I don't use a lot. I'm a priest, I have principles. My friend, Aesirla, ordered a salad of the petals with a splash of vinaigrette the other day. It might not have been so bad, but it was a meal sized salad, not just an appetizer. When we left the restaurant, it was all she could do to keep from turning her hawkstrider into turkey dinner. I only use it when I need a boost. You know how it is. You're in the field, you feel drained, like you can't heal another rogue, or you can't smite another plague infested lynx. So you take a nip. Noone hides it out here. Remember when we disciplined those two apprentices for drowning Antheol's musty old tome? That pouch he gave as a "reward" was his old herb bag. Magister's Pouch, hah! More like dime bag. Seriously. We all do it here.

We didn't always lean on herbs for a boost. When the Sunwell was still around, we just drank the power in from the air. The "smell" was heavenly, and the feeling, well it sure didn't send me int0 withdrawals. We had it pretty good for a while, when those "blood knights" had that Naaru in captivity. Stealing the power to heal sounds horrible, I know. Those paladin were the bad guys, I was just taking a little here and there. All I did was grab the radiant beams when the Naaru had a hot flash. They sat around and channeled the power out of him. Nibbling a little bud doesn't seem so bad, considering the alternative means sucking the last bit of power from a dying source. Now all we have to work with are stale leftovers and rogue leylines.

So, yeah, I am addicted to bloodthistle. At least I'm not passed out drunk like that guy outside the inn. Go pick on someone else.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

She's All Wrong!

The more I play Halinka, the less I enjoy playing Delgada. Why? Because she is all wrong! Halinka has everything she wants. She is loved by many. She has mounts and the skill to ride them. Delgada, though she has lots of pets and some very cool toys, is pretty unpopular with most factions, and is having a terrible time scraping together the money for epic flight training.

I know this hunter who reaches a certain point after max level and considers the game over for that hunter. He then ships the wealth on to his next hunter and starts over. I think I finally understand him. Delgada, rest well. I won't be so cruel as to delete you, just yet. Have you met Olinari? She will do this job right. Factions taken care of at appropriate levels, earning her own money, and collecting toys as she levels. You can still come out to heal, and do holiday stuff. As soon as Olinari hits that magic number, your days are few. You might want to start packing.

So, You Want My Business...

I probably haven't mentioned it before. I am my guild's webmistress. Now, this is just a fancy title to cover up the fact that I find a guild hosting site, monkey around with what little coding I know how to change to make the site red and black and have a nice banner graphic. Then, I sit back and authorize members. Well, hubby had made a nice splash page that I was only partly responsible for, and one of my guildmates had noticed the coding for the enter button was wonky. After granting him access so he could fix it , he noticed many problems with the coding in other places on the site. This was not due to my monkeying, so he contacted DKPSystems. They said they had no plans to fix it to make it compliant. No Plans. I pay for this service. The discussion began on what to do when the site went up for renewal. I offered up stay here, move back to GuildPortal, self host, or better idea. The guild was split in three, with the comments basically stating that they would go wherever the site administrators wanted. Well, our site was ready to expire, and I only had 9 out of a potential of over 50 or more active members responding, so I went to renew, just for a bit, so a decision could be made. I can't just post the new site up on the info tab in World of Warcraft. Our membership spans several games, because we try everything that comes out. We have members in the military who visit the site when they can when on duty. We have members who have left gaming and joined the real world (shocking!). We have some members that refuse to enter another mmo unless it is Star Wars. So, we have to annouce changes on our web presence, however craptastic it may be. I didn't want to renew with the package someone had prodded me into getting mid way through Burning Crusade (it included dkp tracking and other neat things raid leaders like to have), because we're at a raiding standstill, and have grown beyond needing points to buy things. We roll on everything, passing when we know someone can benefit from an item more than we can. We're just cool that way. So, I let the site expire. I had a note to support asking how to downgrade the site, since we didn't need all the services we were paying for. NO RESPONSE. Well, if I had even been considering staying there just to save me some work, that notion had gone the way of the dodo. I was done. I used my card, paid for three months, and posted the stay tuned for moving instructions post on the front page.

The decision? We will be a self hosted site. I hate leaving behind all the forum posts. History takes a dive. When DKPSystems sites expire, they are blocked. When GuildPortal sites stop paying, they revert to free. And your forums are still there. So, I can go back and read all that history from Star Wars Galaxies, our stumbling into different other games. I will never be able to go back to the more than a year of history in our DKPSystem forums. This saddens me. Do I want to do a straight copy and paste of all the forum threads? No. Ugh. I think I will find the juicy bits, and scrap the rest. I haven't found a way to export that from them, though they have a tool to import forums.

If you have any pointers, I welcome them. Hubby already has a site where he has an active forum community, so I am sure that we will not have a problem with setting up shop. I guess what I want is an easy WYSIWYG editor for a blog style news page, with side bars that can hold such info as who is on Ventrilo, a shout box (they love that stuff!), a calendar everyone can use to make raid signups (should we ever get back into it), and links to what we like to visit.

Sorry about the page long grumpfest. I stil haven't heard from DKPSystem about downgrading, and I asked three days ago. I let my guild down by letting the site expire for a full day. I'm mad, and hormonal. This is not a good combination. Anyone have a chocolate bar?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Goblins and Worgen, Oh My!

Since the leak of the new races for the Cataclysm expansion, I have been searching for a suitable name for each, as I will definitely want at least one of each. I'm an altaholic. It's what I do. So, my first search was for Goblin names. I came up with a couple notable sites. Mentioned in a post on the Warhammer Alliance forums (apparently a division of Curse), there was a link to this site. I know it was meant for Squeeg Herders, but some of the combinations sounded promising for male Goblins. Here is a list that contains some for both Goblins (called Gobblely), and Worgen (called Wolfen), with separate lists for each gender, and a section for surnames and titles. For Worgen, Greywolf's World of Warcraft site has a nice bit of lore and some names are listed with the article. If you need to bone up on your worgen lore, this is a prime spot.

For me, this wasn't enough. Going with the trend I have seen in female Goblin names in game, I think I have hit on a decent name, and it is saved, so Smolderthorn, too bad! Her name will be Bittsee. As for her surname, if anyone has to ask, they will be told it is Emptypockets. Why? Because, like all my other characters on Smolderthorn, she will be continually broke. For the Worgen, I had to dig a little deeper. Shadowsong, Chienne is taken. It's French for !@#$&, or, in kinder terms, a female dog. For her surname, I may have to wait and see what the expansion has in store. I doubt Chienne is of the Pyrewood Moonrage, and I don't see her fitting into the Terrowolf clan. She may be of the Nightbane. I want to see what tribe or tribes are introduced in the Cataclysm.

Now comes the class decision. On the Horde side, I don't have a druid or a death knight. I have a mage and a warlock that I don't play. I'm wondering if it is because they aren't the right race. Goblins aren't druidic in nature, but I can see them as a caster class. I'm not sure I would want a Goblin death knight. So that leaves the mage or the warlock. I would hate to reroll the warlock, as she got her mounts the old fashioned way, and I believe that is a feat of strength. The mage is a resurrection, and was leveled with recruit a friend granted levels. Gwenna would probably end up buried in the graveyard again to make room for Bittsee. On the Alliance side of the fence, I have more options. The only serious character I have is Halinka, with a close second being my hunter bank character who is at 29. I speculate that Worgen would be damage classes, like a rogue, hunter, mage, warlock, and perhaps even a death knight. I can't see them in a tanking class, but I suppose it is possible for Worgen to be a warrior as well. That idea in mind, I think I would like my Worgen to be a rogue. What class more suited to sneak attacks and damage output?

Other things come to mind with this announcement.

  • Will Chienne show her armor pieces? My thought is that in form she won't, but she could shift to Human form to show it off. Which has me wondering, do I get to pick her Worgen and her Human looks, or just one? If I had to choose, I would pick the Worgen and hope for the best in Human form. Maybe it will be like the druid forms. Hair color will correspond to coat color.
  • Will goblins give Bittsee a discount, or punish her for picking a side? A friend of mine suggested that if all Goblins turned to Horde, that the Consortium would make a good replacement for them. I agree, though I cannot believe that Booty Bay or Ratchet will ever be anything like the bustling neutral marketplace I love without Goblins at the helm. These would have to be a splinter faction of Goblins, quite like the Worgen will be the "nice" Worgen.
  • Will Bittsee be able to grind Goblin faction at an increased rate? Will she start at friendly instead of neutral? Will Bittsee be able to become a Bloodsail Buccaneer?
  • Has Blizzard been preparing us for these two new races? The Alliance nabbed a Goblin and his airship to do their bombing of the enemy fleet at sea in Northrend, and he is none to pleased with this. The Alliance also unknowingly started helping a village of Worgen, then almost give a horse a heart attack trying to flee their town when they hear what they are. Are the Worgen in this village really bad, or just misunderstood? The Horde does not get involved with the Worgen, except to kill them off. The Horde has always had Goblin zeppelin crew. Goblin towns are closer to Horde towns than Alliance(Mostly. I know there are no Horde towns in Winterspring). Maybe Blizzard has always had this in mind. So many ideas, only so much you can put into each expansion.
  • Goblin racials. The primary thought to this will always be a modifier to money gained. I'm pretty sure Blizzard will not do this, but there is another way. Goblins are much like Humans, as they get along with damned near everyone. Perhaps a reputation gain modifier as a passive trait would be in order. Call it Finagle. "Goblins finagle their way into your good graces as quickly as they can in order to get to your coin pouch faster." Another goblin racial could be a "Small but Mighty" trait. "Goblins get an x% increase to the stat most critical to their chosen class." I think of this mostly because of the Booty Bay guards, who still kick the snot out of me at level 80. Lastly, when I think Goblin, I think engineering. I think a plus amount to engineering skill, or an increase to bomb damage would be a good trait. For an on use trait, I read on the Scrolls of Lore forums that someone thinks they should have a poison/disease resist. I'd like to take this further by making it a mini cleanse, with a cooldown similar to other racial abilities. "Goblin Fortitude. Removes one disease or poison effect."
  • Worgen racials. My husband has come up with many bad traits. Vulnerability to silver. Can be skinned. Afraid of fire. What about traits that would make me want to play the class? The Scrolls of Lore forums again have an insightful discussion going on this subject, with many great ideas. A poisonous bite as a racial? I like that idea. A howl that decreases the opposing mobs hit rating? Fantastic. Maybe a haste buff, similar to the orc's Bloodfury could be in order. They would have to have shape shifting, as that is what makes this race believable (to me). A passive boost to skinning and leatherworking? I can see the skinning, maybe. I don't see Worgen taking their time after mauling a creature to carefully tuck away the skin for later. Cannibalism, on the other hand, makes sense, but on a broader scale that includes beasts. A passive boost to movement speed is discussed, and I like that idea. A bonus to unarmed skill comes to mind (while in form), being that all the Worgen I have fought have clawed me into ribbons.
That's allI have for today. Any thoughts? Post your comment, or link your blog post, below. I am all for some more thought provoking banter on this subject.

Catch Up Gear For Shadow Priests


So, you are behind your guild by leaps and bounds. Your gear is pre-heroic, and theirs is post Ulduar. You feel left behind, but you don't want to burden them by asking for runs in Naxxramas when they really don't even care to dance another round with Heigen. What can you do?

Well, with the new Trial of the Champion instance, you can bag some i-level 200 epic pieces to help flesh out a good heroic ready set of gear. Everyone is running it, and if you are lucky, you'll find a group that is running it multiple times. Once you're in, stick with it. Here is a list of the gear that a shadow priest can use in this instance.

Belt of the Churning Blaze
Bindings of the Wicked
Handwraps of Surrendered Hope -yes it's a healer piece, but we like the spirit, and the red socket!
Leggings of the Haggard Apprentice -another healer piece, gemmed with a hit gem if you need hit, and a spirit gem, why not?
Mantle of Inconsolable Fear -this piece works well for healing as well.
The Confessor's Binding -this is a healing belt. If you get this one and not the other, it's not so bad, is it?
Signet of Purity -a nice ring for healing and dps
Brilliant Hailstone Amulet
Abyssal Rune
Tears of the Vanquished -I know it isn't a dps trinket, but if the healer doesn't want it, who would laugh at you for wanting all that intellect?(I believe that all my spells are helpful. I boycott the exception of my spells from Blizzard's idea of helpful. Phooey!)

These items don't cover all your gear slots. That's okay though. This is where you use the best item from Shadowpriest.com's beginning raid gear list. Let me throw up an example here. HolyNova, who is kicking herself for her bad choice in naming right now, has been building her shadow set, in hopes that one day she can be as dangerous and beautiful as that fire mage over there (we'll call him Larry). She was able to get the wrists, hit belt, hit neck, and the dps trinket from a few runs in Trial of the Champion. She is thrilled. She gems the hit neck with hit, enchants her bracers with more spellpower, adds a socket to her belt to put another hit gem in it, and puts on only these items. She has 107 hit rating now, and some other nice stats. Right now, we need to make sure her hit rating gets closer to cap. I have found for heroics, cap is not necessarily the same as it is for raiding. Still, we should aim for as close to that magic 289 as possible (assuming you have all points spent in misery and shadow focus). She found The Argent Skullcap kicking around in her bank, getting her to 168 hit rating. She healed a heroic Violet Hold and was lucky enough to get Mark of the War Prisoner, which boosted her hit rating to 241. At this point, some people might just run off without a robe and happily be able to complete Utgarde Keep on heroic mode, but we like well dressed priests. It's cold in Northrend! Speaking of cold, Nova has been working with the Ebon Blade (probably where she got her affinity for the dark side), and they liked her enough to sell her a Dark Soldier Cape. Her hit rating, now at 270, is looking more worthy of heroics. Now, our gal has been cooking and fishing and doing her regular daily dungeon quests without fail, and the Kirin Tor love her. They let her buy Robes of Crackling Flame, which make her think of Larry. Another item the Ebon Blade let her buy are Sterile Flesh-Handling Gloves. Her boots and pants have been hard to replace. She's just using her healing rings now, nothing special about them. They have haste and intellect and critical strike chance and stuff like that.

Now, we were talking about farming heroics for gear to catch up with, weren't we? With the set we have assembled, Nova should be able to hold her own any about any heroic. This is where the fun begins. You see, everyone, and I mean everyone, is farming heroics for the new badges right now. How does this impact Nova? As a healer or as a damage dealer, she will find more groups as she is flexible. More groups = more badges, and more chances at upgrades. Should she still run regular instances? Probably not, unless she is uncomfortable walking into a heroic not having done the regular version. Badges are the key, because the items that can be purchased are i-level 213 and 226, which is fine to jump into Ulduar with. Here is a list of items a priest can use, purchased with Badges of Conquest. Pair that with items you can get from heroics (here are some nice i-level 219's from ToC), and Nova can dazzle Larry with her new role as a damage dealer. Fireball? That is so yesterday. Eat a few of these dots and tell me how you feel in the morning. :)

I hope this is helpful for people, like me, who are trying hard to catch up as a new level 80 to people much further progressed. Comment if you found something fun that I missed. I love shopping for new gear!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pinata Party, Blindfold Not Included.

Trial of the Champion, a new instance at the Argent Tournament grounds, is quite fun. You walk in, grab a stick, and start beating the loot pinata. Seriously. Well, in the first groups I had been fortunate to be in, it was easy. Let's describe my horde party. We had two tanks, a paladin and a death knight. For damage, we had a shadow priest (not me) and a 79 moonkin. Delgada was in her holy form, being generous and healing. We beat down the instance a couple of times on regular mode. Easy Peasy. Now, we are all pretty well geared, with some Naxxramas gear, and a stray piece of Ulduar gear in the mix. I think the reason it was so easy was the two tank set up, and the aoe healing holy specialty provides. I was also fortunate to be in a group with mostly Ulduar geared raiders when Halinka got to go a few times. Much fun, and many upgrades were added to her closet.

Now, last night, Delgada agreed to heal, yet again, as the boys got ready to do their heroic beatdown of the night. Our group for regular Trial of the Champion? Death Knight tank from the evening before, an enhancement shaman, a level 79 death knight, and an arcane mage. This group was painful. The other death knight was not a tank. We got the job done, but we died a few times. Semi satisfied that we were doing alright, we changed out the dps death knight for that same guy's hunter, and we started off. Oh, the pain. We had such a time trying to stay alive. I let the mage and the hunter die off, and kept the shaman and the death knight up to finish round one. Resurecctions were performed, loot was handed out, and round two commenced. It was the paladin, and I showed off my healing prowess by standing backwards to heal the whole fight. Go me! That boss gave us less problems, and we handed out loot, refreshed buffs, and went for round three, the Black Knight. Well, Delgada was not being smart this fight, and stood too close when he exploded his minion. Thanks to my glyph of "you fail so you can have this healer for a little longer", I was able to stay in Spirit form long enough to see phase three of this fight, but it was a losing battle. As soon as he popped into spirit form, he pretty much two shot everyone. So, back into the instance, buff up, and start from square one. The details from here get foggy, it was late, and it was frustrating. I seem to remember it taking at least one more wipe before we decided enough was enough and pounded him into the ground. He dropped a nice healing trinket and pair of pants for Delgada, though. Yay. Just what Delgada wanted. More healing gear.

So, to examine what went wrong on the second time around. In the first part, jousting happens. We were all facing up with different targets. This, just like a regular fight, should have a kill order. Mark them up if you can when they come out the gate. Healer goes down first, the rogue second, then deal with the caster or hunter third. When jousting, keep this kill order just for convenience. It will help everyone stay focused. Keep your shields up. I alternated throwing shield breaks and refreshing my shield ( I had a mob chasing me throughout one joust). Charge if you can and whack them with the melee hit when your charge brings you into range, then ride away, refresh shield, and throw shield breaks again. If you see your mount getting low on health and you aren't being pursued, ride to to the edge, dismount, and grab a new mount. This should help you get through phase one of this fight.

The second phase of this fight knocks you off your mount. Make sure you have replaced your lance with your main or two hand weapon. Our paladin tank forgot to, and although he is the best tank ever, he felt the difference. The tank, or tanks, should round up the three mobs and the group dps should proceed to kill the targets in order. The healer goes down first, then the rogue (those nasty poison vials really suck the life out of you if you aren't paying attention), then the ranged mob. This should go down easily, so long as a kill order is followed and the tank(s) can hold aggro on the mobs.

Fight number two is different all the time. At the beginning, you have a paladin or a priest. After taking down the trash mobs (make sure to take down healers first,who also mind control, and to kill lightwells), the tank will pick up the boss and dps will take it down. Somewhere between 25 and 35%, the boss will force everyone to wait while it summons another boss, this time a "nightmare" from a past experience. If you have a way to break fear, do it, and be ready to kill as quickly as possible, as this mob is healed by the other boss(a renew which can be dispelled), and fears frequently. Once that boss is done, the other will need to be taken down. This is where the fights start to differ. If you have the paladin, he does a holy attack that does a bit of damage that can be avoided if you turn around when it is announced(hence, the healing backwards) and does a hefty hit called Hammer of the Righteous to a player causing 14000 damage. If your dispeller is quick and can get Hammer of Justice off that player, the next hefty attack can be caught and thrown at the boss. I was not able to do this yet, so I will be trying again. With the priest, I don't remember any special attacks, though during the heroic I believe I was being mind controlled (kept getting the message, "Target is friendly" when trying to dps down the nightmare).

Third fight is the Black Knight. He will kill the master of ceremonies, and resurrect him as his ghoul. In the first phase of the fight, stay out of his desecration, and watch out for his exploding ghoul. This phase is pretty simple. Second phase, he will summon an army. Kill his adds one at a time, as they explode at low health. I have heard Area of Effect spells are a no go on this phase, probably because you would have many exploding ghouls at the same time. Take down the boss, and you'll be on the next phase. Phase three, he turns into a ghost. This part is very healing intensive, as he throws shadow damage all over. Use all your cool downs and trinkets and kill him quick, and you will have your prize!

Once you have this down, you are on your way to gearing up yourself and friends. Here is a link to the gear that drops from the dungeon, on both modes (second comment on the page). They gave you a stick, now go beat your pinata!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Heroics, Heroics, And More Heroics!

Halinka got to run a few heroics yesterday and today. Today, after dinner, Delgada got to run some heroics, too. Seems both my horde guild and my alliance guild have gone heroic crazy. Why? Those damned tokens. Now, don't get me wrong, Halinka was happy to add that i-level 226 neckpiece to her hodgepodge of i-level 200 blues and purples (many of which were upgraded tonight. Thanks everyone!). She just feels a little out of her league yet. Who can blame her? She is so new to 80 that she hasn't sold off some of her green hit gear.

Delgada, on the other hand, was asked to heal tonight. Delgada hates healing. She'd rather try to dig through the glacier surrounding Arthas heart with her bare hands than be anything but a shadow priest. But, if you want the gear, sometimes you have to make allowances. Delgada found some gear that had a bit more mana regeneration on it and healed heroic Oculus, Nexus, Culling of Stratholme, Gundrak, and Drak'Tharon. She got herself a nice pair of bracers, several achievements, and a bronze drake. That's right, a bronze drake, that she can't ride yet. Delgada is a slacker. So, after the runs were through, she dug out every item in her bank that she could bear to part with, turned many bolts of netherweave into bags, churned out a few frostweave bags , cooked up all the raw meat she had iwth spices to make raiding food, and sent it all to Rowena to sell. Rowena is sitting on about 2500 gold, and had a mailbox full of teenage greens. She listed everything, and we're hoping for some nice profits.

Earlier today, Halinka got in on a Wintergrasp raid, and was invited to a 10 man Vault of Archavon run. She ran 25 man of the same instance yesterday, and with all the raid buffs,, her critical strike food, and her flask of the frost wyrm, she was pushing out about 2200 dps. In this run, she ran out of flasks, so she was using that pink elixir that boosts all stats, and an elixir of mighty spirit. Three wipes later, out of food, gear wrecked, and out of elixirs, Halinka's dps had been an abysmal 1350. I thought I had been doing everything right. I guess I wasn't. After complaining about mt shoddy performance in guild chat, one person suggested checking my rotation. I thought, you know, what has worked for me before this patch, may not work now. So I googled "Shadow priest spell rotation 3.2". It landed me on a forum post on shadowpriest.com's forums. No surprise there. If it is relevant to Shadow Priests, it has been discussed on their boards. They had macros! Here is the link, so I don't hog it all to myself. I tested it out on a dummy, doing one rotation of the start and then switching to main. I got my dps to 1750 at one point. Sounds like my problem is solved! Now, if only I could get Halinka a drake...

Rowena's Long Lost Brother, Slahtz.


Look, we even have the same taste in gear :) If you had a hard time finding this guy, he is in Orgrimmar, in the battleground masters building, stealthed next to an entrance, behind a support beam, against the wall.

Things That Directly Affect Me - Patch 3.2



I don't usually comment on the patch notes because, hey, everyone else is doing the same thing. The patch notes today have so much that affect me that I felt I would comment on the ones that really grabbed my attention. I skipped a lot, mostly because they are items that only affect me when the whim strikes me to play something other than my priests, which lately hasn't been striking me as much. The screenshot? Completely unrelated, but I felt this needed something at the top. :)


Priests

  • Prayer of Healing: The percentage of spell power this spell gains in healing (per target) has been reduced from 80.7% to 52.6%.(Does this mean I will be using this less in groups? I glyphed this spell!)
  • Talents
    • Holy
      • Inspiration: The buff from this ability now reduces the physical damage taken by the target by 3/7/10% instead of increasing the target's armor.(I think I like this better now.)
    • Shadow
      • Dispersion: Cooldown reduced to 2 minutes, down from 3 minutes.(I'm addicted to the spell as it is. Now I can use it 33% more often. Yowzas!)
      • Improved Mind Blast: Redesigned. Now, in addition to reducing the cooldown of your Mind Blast spell by .5/1/1.5/2/2.5 seconds, while in Shadowform your Mind Blast also has a 20/40/60/80/100% chance to reduce all healing done to the target by 20% for 10 seconds.(Yum, a Mortal Strike of my very own *hugs self* How does this help me in PvE though?)
      • Vampiric Touch: The amount of damage done when this spell is dispelled has been doubled.(YAY. More penalty for someone dispelling my VT. But wait, how does this help me in PvE?)

  • Character name auto-completion for the chat frame, pop-ups, and mail interface is now active(Now I can send tells faster to all my friends with names at the character limit. Here's looking at you, IGeightyate.)
  • Character names can now be colorized according to class in the chat frame. This feature can be enabled through the chat settings by right-clicking on a chat window.(So in LFG, I won't have to shift and click on someone to find out what they are? Hot Sauce. Now, can we have shades for specs? Hot pink for ret pally, light pink for healy pally, and regular for tanks? I get carried away sometimes)
  • Item Comparisons: Holding the shift key while hovering over an item will now display the stat differences with the item currently equipped in the relevant slot.(I hesitate to get rid of my RatingBuster. I'll turn it off for a day or so and see if I miss it.)
  • Item Level: A new option has been added under Display in the Interface Options to show the item level on item tooltips.(No more guessing if an upgrade really is an upgrade? Sometimes, if the stats are really close, I find myself going to WoWHead to check I-level. This will save me time)
  • Vendor prices will now be listed on items whether or not players are at a vendor.(I see me getting a Greedy achievement here soon. I usually pass if it's not something I can use, but Halinka does like her shopping..)
  • Wolvar and Gorloc orphans have arrived in Dalaran and need your help! Players can find out more by visiting the Eventide District (completing the quests being offered for this event will not count toward any Children's Week achievements). Players have a limited amount of time to care for these orphans before they take their leave. They will then return again for the regularly-scheduled Children's Week next year.(The question here is, will it get me a mini pet, or some other vanity item to clog my bank with? Yesterday I checked Delgada's bank, and found more than 50 slots dedicated to vanity items. GUH.)

  • The ravasaur trainer Mor'vek has returned to Un'Goro and will offer to help Horde players raise and train a Venomhide Ravasaur as a mount... if they can survive the creature's deadly poison. (Halinka is gunning for a Wintersaber mount. It is only fitting that Delgada should be able to get something equally unpleasant to grind for.)

    Cooking
    • Blackened Dragonfin Recipe: Now only requires 1 Dragonfin Angelfish.(I don't use it. But Halinka cooks everything, then sells it. This will make an already profitable item even more worth farming.)
    • Chef's Hat is now superior quality and allows the chef to cook faster. (It will be a long time before any of my characters have this. But I want it. Cooking faster means more time doing something else while standing in the middle of Dalaran. Oh, wait, I wasn't doing anything anyway...)
    • Increased the drop rate for recipes from the Outland Daily Cooking quests.(Finally. After I have almost all of them. Oh well, I know some other people who will be happy for this change.)
    • Increased the chance to get a bonus Dalaran Cooking Token from the Spice Bag.(More tokens means faster recipe buying. Halinka likes that.)
    • The recipe for Captain Rumsey's Lager can now be randomly found in the quest reward Crate, Barrel, or Spice Bag from the cooking dailies.(More booze! That makes 4, doesn't it?)
    Enchanting
    • Values on Northrend ring enchants increased.(Delgada and Shawndra are happy girls. Finally, a reward for the hard, costly grind of enchanting.)
    Fishing
    • Players with 300 or higher cooking have a chance to find a Waterlogged Recipe in the Bag of Fishing Treasures awarded by the Northrend fishing dailies. This item can be traded to other players and rewards several Dalaran Cooking Rewards when turned in.(Any character I have a fleeting interest in has their cooking and fishing near their level, Carlotta being the exception, because if she is farming, it's for herbs, not fish. Another way to earn those cooking tokens is great, though!)
    Herbalism
    • Increased healing from Lifeblood (Rank 6).
    • Lifeblood now scales slightly with maximum health. No longer affected by global cooldown. (As this is my newest go-to profession for my alt characters, I am thrilled. A free heal that doesn't have a cooldown, doesn't take me out of form, and scales with max health. This could also be a valuable 911 button for tanks out there.)
    Skinning
    • Master of Anatomy (Rank 6) provides more critical strike rating.(My second new go-to profession for my alts, every bit of critical strike rating is great.)
    Tailoring
    • Embroideries improved.(Waiting to see how "improved" they are.)
    Non-Combat Pets: 8 new pets have been added (not including Argent Tournament rewards). Raptor Hatchlings can be found on rare and elite raptors throughout the game world. In addition, an Obsidian Raptor Hatchling can be purchased from Breanni in Dalaran. (more mini pets for me! Last night Delgada got her Sprite Darter Hatchling after brutally murdering at least 50 Sprite Darters. She is 5 from the 75 pet achievement. Halinka is also looking forward to getting the last 2 for her 50 pet achievement. Neither of them are looking forward to working for the Argent Crusade, though it seems Halinka may need to.)

  • Glyph of Shadow: This glyph can now be triggered by critical strikes from periodic damage.(I have seen dots and channeled spells crit so often lately, that I can't wait to see my dps go up :) )

  • Battlegrounds Battleground experience has arrived!
    • Players will now be awarded experience for completing objectives and actions that yield honor in Battlegrounds (honorable kills not included).(Rowena would be worried if not for the next bullet point)
    • Players who do not wish to gain experience through PvP can visit Behsten in Stormwind or Slahtz in Orgrimmar - both located near the Battlemasters in either city - and turn off all experience accumulation for the cost of 10 gold.(10 gold is less than a daily away. To not have to worry about accidentally leveling into the next bracket is wonderful. If new items come out for the 10- 19 bracket, Rowena will be able to get them without a reroll. Ahh, if only this worked in real life. To be 19 forever...)
    • Disabling experience gains will prevent a player from gaining experience through any means available in the game.(Now, when someone asks me to run a dungeon, I can astound them with my tanking skills (as a rogue) And, Rowena can now finally build up her arsenal of weapons, and have the specialty sets she will need for going up against the more hard core twinks. Stamina set? You bet. Avoidance set? Coming along nicely. Glass cannon? Whoa baby!)
    • Players with experience gains turned off who compete in Battlegrounds will face off only against other players with experience gains turned off.(Any little bit of guilt Rowena had killing players that wandered unknowingly into Warsong Gulch with less than blues on is now gone.)
    • Behsten and Slahtz can reinstate experience gains for players, for a 10 gold fee of course. Any experience that would've been accumulated if experience gains were enabled cannot be recovered.(Yeah, we don't think we'll need to turn on that experience gain again. You won't be getting any more gold from Rowena!)

    Added after posting, an item at the very bottom of the patch notes says I am one of the lucky ones that got my game graphics messed up this patch. There doesn't seem to be an update to the drivers my laptop is running, so I added SET fixedFunction "1" to the config.wtf file(as prescribed). Voila! No more graphics problems. If you are running a laptop that has Intel 965 Mobile Express chipset drivers on Windows Vista prior to version 7.15.10.1559 (December 2008), make sure to apply this easy patch before the servers come back up. They say 3pm, but we all know that great content requires long patch day downtimes. Anyone got any good movies they can recommend?


    Sunday, August 2, 2009

    What I'm Working On At 80.

    Halinka is 80 now, so now comes the time to get money, reputation, and gear. She was fortunate to get into a Heroic Vault of Archavon and a Heroic Obsidian Sanctum on the very day she hit 80. No, she wasn't wearing greens, but everyone else was so well geared, it made her look like she was. She got a nice pair of healing gloves out of the run, and some tokens to spend later. The next day, she started finishing zones. First, she finished Grizzly Hills, then moved on to finish a few group quests in Dragonblight, then it was off to Zul'Drak to work on that zone. She was there for two grueling days. Have I mentioned that Zul'Drak is my least favorite zone? Yes, my banner image is part of a screenshot from that zone, but I took it for the colors. I love the color of the zone, but the area creeps me out. After Halinka got past the feed the zombies quests and defeated Drakuru, the rest of the zone was a cake walk.

    So, Halinka is now hanging out in K3, sometimes disguised as a Vrykul, giving her poor gryphon serious back pain. She's about halfway to the gold needed for her first epic flying mount, having purchased the skill just after finishing Zul'Drak. Her daily routine? Cooking and Fishing quests in Dalaran, then Kaluak until she gets tired of the travel between cities (she averages about 2 every day), then off to Sholazar to spend time with her fishy friends. They let her have her first egg to incubate yesterday! After Sholazar, where the yellow dots on her mini map frequently distract her, she heads for Storm Peaks. By then, she is heartily bored of questing, and unloads all the extra stuff into a crate and sends it to her bank to hopefully profit from, then stands until either a quest catches her eye or someone asks her to run something.

    I think today, as I fly Halinka to K3, I will join the Looking for Group channel and hope someone whisks me away from the Sons of Hodir quest line. I just hope that Minya, my hunter bank alt, has made enough money to make up the difference and get me a faster mount. (crossing fingers)